Today, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the fourth COVID-19 assistance package called the Heroes Act. The bill provides funding to states to assist with COVID-19 related health emergencies, adds additional support for workforce training and worker protection activities related to coronavirus, as well as funding other COVID-19 related initiatives.
Specifically, for dairy producers, the bill launches a Dairy Direct Donation program which provides $500 million to reimburse some expenses of milk processed and donated to non-profit entities.
It also includes changes to the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. The aid bill would allow producers already participating in DMC to increase their production history up to 5 million pounds. It also allows producers to receive a 15% discount on their DMC premiums if, when they enroll in the program for 2021, they choose to enroll for the following three years.
Additionally, the most recent House aid bill includes $500 million in recourse loans for dairy processors, distributors, marketers, wholesalers, packagers and merchants.
The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday; however, analysts agree its passage in the Senate is very uncertain. The Senate could introduce their own legislation pushing the next COVID-19 aid bill into a conference committee delaying its final passage.